Racing: Sangster firms in market

By Mike Dillon

Return to form by 2011 Victoria Derby winner ideal pointer to Auckland Cup.

Sangster didn't just win the $200,000 Darci Brahma International - he destroyed the opposition. Photo / Supplied
Sangster didn't just win the $200,000 Darci Brahma International - he destroyed the opposition. Photo / Supplied

Sangster is down to $3.50 for next month's Auckland Cup and that's no real surprise.

The TAB has slashed the price on the 2011 Victoria Derby winner for the 3200m Cup at Ellerslie after his runaway group one victory at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Sangster didn't just win the $200,000 Darci Brahma International - he destroyed the opposition.

The victory was cleverly engineered by trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young; they waited for the right race at the right time.

They waited until after the weights were declared for the Auckland Cup and because Saturday's race was run at weight-for-age there can be no penalty for the Cup.

Sangster drops from 59kg on Saturday to just 54.5kg at Ellerslie - no wonder you can't get better than $3.50.

And no wonder Opie Bosson got off the favourite for Saturday's race, Lady Kipling, to ride Sangster.

After recent experiences Bosson might have to do it tough to make the 54.5kg, but you can back him to do it.

After 300m on Saturday, Sangster was in danger of being caught three wide for the entire trip, but Bosson was not settling for that in a group one race and shot the horse forward to sit outside the leader Dolmabache.

Dolmabache copped a rest when Shane Dye shot Revolt from last to first at the end of the back straight and that was enough to allow Dolmabache to hang on late for second, a valuable group one asset for the mare.

Asavant flew home into third under 57kg and will be much better placed in a handicap next time.

There are few superlatives left for her stablemate Final Touch and for their trainers John and Karen Parsons.

It's not easy training harness horses and thoroughbreds then parting to campaign six horses in the North Island for heading towards four months.

Karen Parsons has prepared Final Touch for three group one victories in four starts - all at different distances, 1600m then back to 1200m then up to 1400m.

That's next to impossible.

There has never been a greater example of hands-on - Karen Parsons not only owns and trains Final Touch for a $636,000 payroll so far, she organised the left-field breeding of the mare by Kashani from My Lydia.

The way Final Touch burst away from the opposition to win in electric time, there is an awful lot left in the tank yet.

Xanadu is on track for her Australian campaign and Zurella flew from last on the home bend to just take third.

•There are a couple of things A'Larose shouldn't have been able to do on Saturday.

The most notable is she shouldn't have been able to gallop strongly to the line in her debut win to score by lengths.

The lightning filly had just one 800m barrier trial to prepare her for a tough 1200m debut and she had gone through a foot problem that held up her work.

Robert Priscott and his large syndicate of owners have a very good filly on their hands.

A'Larose provided The Oaks Stud stallion Sakhee's Secret with his first winner.

The Oaks manager Rick Williams calculates A'Larose is: "The sixth or seventh" Sakhee's Secret to run in New Zealand in their first season.

"He's had quite a few placings before this."

Rider Lisa Allpress was impressed with A'Larose.

"It might have looked like I hit her behind the saddle in the home straight, but I didn't. She just kept running and, boy, did she run.

"That was big the way she kept going strongly."

The win was appropriate. The filly was bred by Waikato Racing Club chairman Dave Smith, who retains a share in the ownership after A'Larose was passed in at the yearling sales.

"She was always an athlete," said Rick Williams.

"She was much more an athlete than a sale-ring horse, and there is a difference.

"We've already seen Recite, Ruud Awakening and Bounding and with this filly added I think they make up a quartet of top-class fillies.

"Their progress will be very interesting."

- NZ Herald

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